Round and around and around and around we go

Hello!

It has been pointed out to me–repeatedly, albeit mostly by the same person–that I have not blogged for an extended period of time. The truth is, although many ‘bloggable’ subjects have crossed my mind in the past (Man, has it really been months? You know what they say about time and fun.) while, I’ve been reticent to sit down and actually type stuff out.

The last time I travelled, which was to Seattle (Finally making use of Reading Week!), I wrote in a notebook instead. Hopefully I will get a chance to transcribe that all, and maybe even share some pictures. Also, thus far, life had been relatively calm over the summer as I continued with research and school, with some occasional time-outs to spend time with friends and family.

I think this is a pretty exciting term though. I finally finished my Honours Thesis (and that’s pretty exciting, right? : p). I transitioned relatively smoothly from my summer volunteer research work to a research co-op position(final run!), so I’m still in Waterloo until April, when I will graduate, at last. There are upcoming trips to Ottawa and NYC, (and with 3 whole weeks of Christmas vacation, maybe Vancouver or elsewhere, we’ll see) and I’ll have to apply for grad schools. I’ve also managed to drag myself back to the gym on an every-other-day basis and am also attempting to go low-carb, which as calorie counting will teach you, is quite difficult.

So it looks like I’ve got quite a few posts in store. : )

Reflections on the Finale: There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?

So I just saw The Office season finale. Felt like my feelings had been brutalized. So then I watched it again. The ability of this show to deliver both solid drama and comedy regardless of its critical-rating ups and downs has always been a quality I have cherished in the selection of TV I watch. I guess a lot of shows do that.

But The Office has a special place in my heart because for some reason even though I commenced my TV addiction during first year, my most vivid memory of this is coming back from my 8:30 class, grabbing some breakfast from the caf, then sitting down to watch an episode of this show. (Though sometimes that first part was optional.)

I recall that at first I was a little weirded out by Michael Scott and his comedy. But I realize now that the unique ability of this show to make me first cringe, then laugh, and eventually, even cry, is what I love most about it.

The relationships all the characters had with each other was also pretty damn amazing–both comical and touching. As someone who’s always been reserved at the outset, and often afraid to take the first step or put herself out there, I identified with Pam a fair bit and was really happy that she was able to get that fairytale ending with Jim (and then send the message that even after that ending, even if you have to work at it, life goes on and it can be great).

All in all, I think everything came to a great conclusion. Was so happy to see that everyone’s stories worked out so well–Jim and Pam got everything they wanted, Michael got his family, Dwight got his promotion, Andy got his dream job, Stanley got his retirement, Erin got her parents, Nelly got her baby; and Kelly and Ryan, those crazies, got each other.

The last 10 minutes really broke me up. Especially Andy’s very thought-provoking quote: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” At least to me, that was a reminder that you should cherish what you’ve got while you still have it. Because things can change before you even realize it.

It’s like saying goodbye to an old friend. I’m kind of sad to know that I’ll never be able to watch an episode of this show for the first time. But I know I’ll be left with lots of great memories and one day, I’ll see it again. Even if I don’t remember every detail, it won’t matter because “the feelings still remain the same”. ; )

Change

I just got glasses and everything is so sharp with them that when I take them off, I’m a little terrified by the dullness of my normal vision. : /

I’m baaaaaaaack.

It’s been a while, and it’s been busy. Here’s why. Since my presence last graced this virtual room with the writing on the (very long) wall, I have:

  • started and ended my 3rd term on co-op
  • had the best Christmas break yet (I lived at G’s house with a bunch of friends, what could be better?)
  • made some decisions to extend my stay as an undergraduate at UW (now April 2014)
  • made some perhaps seemingly counterintuitive decisions to get more into research and in the long run pull together a hopefully stellar application for grad school in Clinical Psychology
  • got back on the fitness wagon (gymming 3x/week, hiyo!)
  • almost gotten through the halfway point of my 4A semester

How are we already at February 2013? Is it just me or is time moving faster and faster? :s

The tide comes in, the tide goes out (Can’t explain that!)

Drove quite a while (with a stop in Edmundston where I got to try out the McLobster…ehhhn) to Alma, NB today; a small town nestled in an inlet of sorts right next to the Fundy National Park. While sadly, I didn’t see any moose, bears, or any other wildlife  :<, the drive through the park was absolutely gorgeous.

McLobster!

A view from Fundy National Park

We finally arrived in Alma sometime in the afternoon and checked into our inn. It’s a sleepy little town with a population of 232. Not the most exciting place in the world, but the natural beauty of its surroundings eclipses any sentiment but that of wonder. Our inn was modest, but backed out right out onto the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. It was low tide at the moment, which was pretty cool, though I wish I could have been there for the high tide (which was sometime at 2 am…couldn’t see anything anyways). All the boats in the wharf are stranded until the tide comes in, at which point they take their boats out to fish.

At low tide

We took it pretty easy after settling into our hotel; first heading to a scenic lookout point just a few km up the road on a cliff, then for an evening walk on the beach. Even though it was rather overcast (and eventually it started to drizzle a little bit) it was still a pretty nice walk, what with the novelty of being able to walk around on ocean floors. : D

Ocean floor

It was a pretty interesting stroll; it’s not a stable, gradual grade, but rather a mix of shallow pools and muddy/dry sand. With all sorts of colorful rocks, my mother and I went rock-collecting (JY, I have a rock for youuuuu <3).  There was also plenty of dried up algae and a few other interesting (albeit presumably dead) things to look at. I saw a couple of crabs; one whole, the other dismembered, but neither moving…

Found this icky thing. Anyone know what that is?

Also met a fellow Torontonian on the beach! It’s a small world, after all. : )

Her dog gave me a thorough foot-licking then proceeded to show me tricks😄

Dinner was conveniently across the street at the Alma Boathouse Restaurant, which I enjoyed very much. While I went for a safe choice with an appetizer of mussels and my main of (Atlantic haddock) fish and chips, with extremely friendly service and great food, I came away rather happy.

Mussels!

 

Beer-battered Atlantic Haddock and Chips

La belle province

We got lost somewhere in Montreal, but after my Dad finished with attempting to rationalize the GPS’s failures and we went back to following plain old printouts of Google Map directions, we finally made it to my favourite city in Quebec (Quebec City, that is).

With a rich history, charming surroundings and atmosphere, and really neat to boot, I love strolling around in Vieux Quebec, and so that is where we headed after checking in at our hotel in nearby Levis. We didn’t really have a set plan, so after a brief detour to climb atop the walls of the fortifications, we walked down Rue St. Jean with all the nice restaurants and cafes, and then made our way towards Chateau.

Porte St. Jean into Vieux Quebec

I even found the Hotel de Vieux Quebec, where I stayed on my elementary school trip. It’s surprisingly right in the middle of things, really close to the boardwalk and Chateau Frontenac. I suppose things looked a lot bigger and farther back then. X)

When we finally made it over to the boardwalk, it was a little late to take pictures, as it was pretty dark at this point, but there was a juggling show going on by the Champlain statue so we stuck around to watch that for a bit.

Side note: Today was a very unfulfilling food day. : ( Not only did I have to break my McDonald’s streak (of not going…first time this year!) but the place I wanted to go to for dinner had a huge lineup when we got there and my plans were foiled. It was already late, so we just picked up Subway and headed back to the hotel. :<

A Study in Anxiety

On the road heading towards Eastern Canada, and things are settling down into a state of hunky-dory. My parents are now chatting about the unfortunately long mp3 cd of old songs playing in the car, and my mother just lost a $50 bet to my father. I just finished up a book and plan on returning to the semi-conscious state of ‘nap’ that I usually assume for such long trips.

Look what just pulled in at our Odessa rest stop! WATERLOO REPRESENT!😀

Things are not always this calm. Packing/leaving for vacation is probably one of my parents’ most insufferable states, whilst I tend to take a more zen approach to the whole thing; “If I forget it, I can buy it” being my panacea to most issues. However, with a fervour that probably accompanies their responsibilities as parents, in conjunction with the anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies that I suspect are a hereditary trait in our family, my parents become irritated (and irritating), sniping at all things in their path (usually my brother, luckily for me), and annoyingly throwing out really obvious directives like “DON’T FORGET TO WEAR PANTS” or “ARE YOU BRINGING YOUR CAMERA?”

And road trips aren’t even that bad on our family scale of anxiety.  You should see my Dad at airports.

The views are getting more and more scenic as we head east.

Oh Summer Where Did You Go?

Last day of summer term was yesterday. We’re all still questioning how it went by so fast. But I can’t wait for it all to finish, because I still have two exams to write: French and Human Physio II. Not looking forward to the latter.:/ One of my methods of procrastination is calculating and predicting grades, and for some reason I’m a little worried about my average all of a sudden–maybe the aftereffects of a term with a laissez-faire attitude as far as point-counting went. :p Getting it all out now.

Another method of procrastination is looking up future directions. Currently on a Clinical Psychology draw that might just stick…it doesn’t help that my hatred levels for Biology are rather high right now.:/ Because of the damn physio exam ;___; I realize how little I care for this subject matter. It’s interesting, but when it comes down to it, psychology is what I love.

Yet another method of procrastination is Vampire Diaries, but that requires one or more posts on its own.

Also gearing up for my party this Sunday! Kind of excited now. Just a little. More through contagion than anything, I’m looking at you Cindy.🙂 I can’t believe I’ll be 21 in just 2 days…

Little things

There will be bragging. You have been warned. I don’t do that much of it do I? Bear with me. : )

Today was a very busy day. Almost overslept again, had a full day of classes, and a full deck of participants for my study timeslots today.

On top of it, had a Japanese oral test that I was very ambivalent about. On one hand, seemed really easy, but on the other, I always freak when I feel like things are easy, because I am very aware of what just thinking things are easy can do. :< Typical stuff of fables. So I was somewhere between giggling and hyperventilating to death, but managed to calm down enough to go do the test. As far as I was concerned in the end, I killed that test. (Got results back right away, 10/10 yay.)

But what my Japanese prof said to me afterwards, kind of made my day.

(Actually, the fact that I had made the whole class and the prof laugh earlier that day kinda half-made that day. We were learning  Te form conjugation, and the related phrase “wa ikemasen” which when put together more or less forms a prohibition statement, i.e. “You may not…”. Prof asked us to think of what we CANNOT do in a park. After a few moments of silence, I offered up the only new vocabulary we knew that I felt was relevant: the verb “to take a shower”.

It was hilarious in context, and something I would have never ever done 10 yrs ago, 5 yrs ago, heck, maybe even last year. Regardless of how comfortable the classroom context is. Recently I have been participating (–probably because it’s required in class–but at this point I don’t think it’s out of need)willingly and it makes me so happy. : ))

Anywho…aside from that…aside.

Essentially Eri-sensei said after my oral test “How do you study Japanese? You’re AMAZING.” (o___o At that point I was a little stupefied…because I didn’t expect that, especially since I was trying to run over the last 5 minutes of the oral test through in my head. This would qualify my response:)

Me: “I don’t know…”

Prof: “Do you have prior experience, or interest?…blah blah other possibilities How do you practice?”

Me: “I’m not sure…I watch anime but it doesn’t help…because their grammar is bad.*scrambling to look like I actually put effort into this* I practice it. And then I guess, I just pick up languages quickly? (My thoughts when she asked me this actually blanked because I have no idea how I practice either…I practice. I write things down and repeat them before tests? But otherwise I really don’t invest too much time in it. I don’t know what it is but I don’t find it impossibly difficult. Languages are fun? :/)

We ended off with her encouraging me to take 102. But I was still kind of walking on air from her praise. It is unequivocally amazing for one’s self-esteem when progress is so directly and wholeheartedly acknowledged.

Today was a good day. : )

This is an update ensconced in one of those small miracle type posts.

Recently, I seem to be finding myself with no shortage of things to do. That’s good, right? And I don’t mean that I’m mired in schoolwork, which is relatively manageable at this point–only 2 midterms and an assignment due next week. As I often tell myself, it can always be worse >_>”.

It’s getting pretty hot (Happy (belated) Summer!) and even that makes me happy. :p Humidity does wonders for my hair. Only negative there are the bugs that seem to be moving in probably because we have all our windows open. Not that I mind coexisting with you guys, but stay out of my personal space…I’m looking at YOU, FRUITFLIES.

But just in terms of the time I’m sitting around going ‘I’m bored’, I noticed that I am better at finding things for myself to do.😀 And it makes me happy to have such a variety of things to do.

In between my work, co-op apps, gym, and occasional RAing (things are so slooooooow), I’ve also start unashamedly reading (non-textbooks) again! Just finished The Girl Who Played With Fire and now onto a different book while I wait to get back home for the long weekend so I can grab the final book in that trilogy from my bookshelf. In the TV world, I’m alternating between Suits (amusing but exciting legal show…love the witty repartees), Satyamev Jayate (Aamir Khan+a hard, blunt look at social issues in India=makes me cry), and Nichijou (anime that’s just like one long gag reel, so gut-bustingly hilarious). AND I’m still working through Uncharted: Golden Abyss. Plus, I get to hang out with my friends and family when I go home for weekends. Also working on planning my party and a possible Atlantic Canada trip after my exams finish (Did I mention I get 3 weeks of vacation in between school and co-op in August?).

Just doing this mental accounting has made me happier. Who says you can’t have it all? : )

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